Bits from Bill Pytlovany: New Layer of Microsoft Security?

new layer of microsoft security

By Bill Pytlovany

New Layer of Microsoft Security?

Now that most of us have stopped whining about the User Account Control screen Microsoft is trying to build a better program trap. Their newest plan is to expand a tool called SmartScreen Filter. I’ve discovered both the good and bad with the plan.

Last month I investigated the need to have a code signing certificate for programs distributed by download. This added expense for developers can range from $100 to $500 depending on the company providing the security review and certificate.

June 5th: Software Code Signing Certificates. Do you care?

My ultimate decision was to continue purchasing a certificate because it was respectful to folks upgrading to our new WinPatrol and set a good example to anyone new to downloading WinPatrol. I also discovered if an application isn’t signed it’s nearly impossible to download using Internet Explorer with its SmartScreen Filter enabled. While this is currently a feature of Internet Explorer expect to find SmartScreen Filter integrated into Windows 8.

Currently, when you try to download a new program which isn’t signed using Internet Explorer you’ll most likely see the following warning…

As I wrote about previously, even if you click “Actions”, Microsoft discourages you from downloading the file and essentially hides the sequence needed to continue your download.

When I released WinPatrol v25 signed with my brand new certificate I was in for a shock from “SmartScreen Filter”. While the message for my signed app was now yellow it still implied that WinPatrol was most likely a dangerous choice.

I received dozens of Emails from long time WinPatrol users most thinking that Microsoft was reporting a false positive. It turns out that SmartScreen Filter doesn’t 100% trust a code signing certificate. Based on recent events, they shouldn’t.

SmartScreen Filter is about trust and “Reputation” Article continued here

This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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One thought on “Bits from Bill Pytlovany: New Layer of Microsoft Security?

  1. bill, my computer died again. bought a new one. problem is I need to redownload Task catcher. need 64 bit.

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